“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is an American proverb.
You can search and search and not find, definitively, who said it.
But its truth is deep in the heart of our culture.
Whether we are considering garage sales and flea markets, or Manifest Destiny, the proverb expresses a central truth in the American psyche.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
Our culture, today, is incredibly interested in treasure.
We are living through some serious economic times. Certainly they are as bad and as long-lived as have been seen since the Great Depression. And since there are very, very few living today who were more than children at that time, almost no one is alive today who has worked during times worse than these.
So where does the trash come in?
This week the Barton County Commission heard from Solid Waste Manager Mark Witt about the opening of Phase III of the Barton County Landfill, the next step in expanding this incredibly important facility.
What is exciting is not just the expansion of the facility, but the work that goes on in our landfill to remove as much refuse as possible through recycling programs and the efforts that the staff are under taking to make our landfill last as long as possible.
There is a huge amount being accomplished here and as any community that is not able to have its own landfill can attest, this is where trash IS treasure.
When you have to truck your trash elsewhere, you are seeing that trash burns up a lot of treasure.
This is why recycling efforts are so crucial, why our nation needs to stop up efforts to reduce packaging, why we need to throw away as little as possible, why all of the composting sites in Barton County are of such incredible importance, why programs like the Sunflower Diversified recycling effort is vital to our future.
All things on this Earth are finite.
Eventually, no matter how good of stewards we are, we will fill up all of our current landfill space.
When that day comes, if there is not some future technology that does away with refuse, our descendents will see some stiff bills to pay.
But the extent that the day is held off will be due in great part to the work that is being done now.
And that is real economic development.
— Chuck Smith